This breath. Just this breath. This breath is all I need.

It’s really that simple. What else do I need?

I think I need so much more. I look outside – and inside – for something to soothe me. Or something to excite me. I look for meaning, connection, purpose. I look for healing, comfort, ease. I look for someone to make it all “better” for me.

But all I need is this breath. And this one. And this one.

Because in each conscious breath I am grounded. In each conscious breath I realize I am whole.

With each breath I simply note that I am alive, and – perhaps because I’ve trained my mind and soul to do so – with each breath I see joy and beauty. I feel love and peace.

I don’t have to worry about tomorrow. I don’t have to heal from yesterday. I can be in this moment, and know that – at least for just right now – I am okay.

As I share with clients, again and again, I do believe our fears and reactive tendencies are safety mechanisms. My need to read the environment and “handle the situation” (even when I’m not in a “situation”) is a learned behavior that kept me safe when I was young. There was turmoil and danger around me. I was, at least in some ways, threatened. With parents who didn’t seem to put my welfare first (or second…or anywhere high on the list), I learned to be always on guard.

And I’ve learned that I don’t have to do that – or be that – any more. I’ve developed a new learned behavior. It’s called breathing.

Just this breath. And this one. And this one.

I’ve trained myself to breathe and relax. I’ve taught myself to breathe and notice that I am safe – or if I’m not, to do something about what’s going on that comes from mindfulness, wholeness, and love, rather than from fear. I’ve realized, and I remember, that pushing against against my fear only makes it worse. That criticizing myself for reacting only makes my reactions stronger. That fighting my need to fight only makes me need to fight more.

I’ve compassionately disciplined myself to allow each breath to calm me. To look for beauty so that I can open my eyes and mind to more than what I’m reacting to. To take a breath. And another. And another. And let myself know that all is well and I’m okay.

This breath. Just this breath. This breath is all I need.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Photo by Spencer Watson on Unsplash

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